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20 Ideas to Welcome New Teachers to Your School

Alissa Christensen
June 25, 2024

Welcoming new teachers to your school isn't just about making a good first impression—it's about setting the stage for their success and integration into your school community. When teachers feel welcomed, supported, and valued, they are more likely to engage deeply in their work, collaborate effectively with colleagues, and stay committed long-term. As school leaders, prioritizing the onboarding process ensures new teachers that they are taken care of and fosters a positive school culture. 

Here are 20 creative ideas to make new teachers feel welcomed and loved by both administration and fellow educators. Try one!

  1. Express Your Excitement: Make your new staff members feel valued and welcomed a few weeks before school starts! Send a personalized postcard to express your excitement and welcome them to the team! Download our postcards to try this idea!

  2. Reach Out Early: Call your new teachers the week before they start to officially welcome them. Provide clear instructions for their first day and update them on upcoming initiatives and events. This ensures they are well-prepared and informed right away.

  3. Host a Welcome Breakfast: Kickstart the new teacher's journey with a hearty welcome breakfast attended by all new employees, administrators, and mentors. It's a great way to break the ice and foster a sense of belonging from day one.

  4. Personalized Lunch Meetings: Attend their training days and surprise them with lunch, including their mentor teacher. This personal touch shows support and creates opportunities for informal mentorship.

  5. School Tour and Q&A: Personally tour the school with new teachers, introducing them to colleagues and allowing time for questions. Immediate connections help them feel at ease and build relationships.

  6. Comprehensive Binder: Offer a comprehensive binder with essential information: district boundaries, acronyms, school calendar, attendance procedures, grading guidelines, curriculum resources, and contacts for support. They will appreciate having all important information in one place!

  7. SWAG Bags: Gift them with school SWAG bags filled with essentials like shirts, hats, lanyards, and other branded items. It helps them feel part of the team right away and stock their closet with school spirit!

  8. Classroom Essentials Kit: Prepare a goodie bag filled with basic classroom supplies (pencils, dry-erase markers, stickers, stapler, etc.) for them to use as they begin their teaching career! Throw in a few snacks for them to enjoy as they are setting up their first classroom! Looking for an easy, no-hassle solution? Check out our teacher recognition packs, and consider getting Back to School Packs for your team, delivered and ready-to-delight early August!

  9. Survival Kit: Prepare a survival kit with practical items like hair ties, combs, mini toothbrushes, deodorant, pain relievers, and mints. It shows you anticipate their needs and care about their wellbeing.

  10. Staff Meeting Introductions: Ensure that new teachers are formally introduced during staff meetings and given a chance to share a bit about themselves—don’t forget to give them a heads-up! Check out a few more ideas to add to your first staff meeting of the year!

  11. New Teacher Shower: Organize a fun "New Teacher Shower" where the leadership team provides snacks and existing teachers bring their favorite classroom supply as a gift. It's a festive way to stock up their classrooms and feel welcomed. Plus, it’s a low-key event that allows your staff to mingle and celebrate together!

  12. Classroom Setup Assistance: Offer to help new teachers set up their classroom before the school year starts. Consider inviting their mentor, team, or support staff to help for an hour too! This can ease the physical and logistical burdens of a new classroom and let them get to know their colleagues.

  13. Journal for Reflection: Provide a journal for new teachers to jot down reflections and experiences. Reflective practice is key to growth and can foster resilience in their teaching journey, especially during the first year!

  14.  A Favorite Read Aloud: On the first day of school, leave your favorite read-aloud picture book or novel and a quick note reminding them of the amazing impact they will have this year!

  15. Silly Stringcelebration: Principal Brook Wessel-Burke from Action Elementary in Indiana started this tradition for her new teachers. After completing their first week of teaching, new teachers walk through the school and get showered in silly string by other staff! “We always try to find fun ways to recognize each other throughout the year; this is a great start,” she shares. Katie Dill, a 3rd-grade teacher, commented, “The first week of school can be really overwhelming, especially in your first year. I remember constantly feeling like I was a step behind, but seeing all my coworkers cheering and celebrating with me (while covering me in silly string) helped me recognize I wasn't alone. It kicked off the weekend on a high note!”

  16. Celebrate and Encourage: Regularly write notes of encouragement to new teachers to celebrate their achievements, big or small! Simple words of appreciation and motivation can significantly boost their confidence and demonstrate your consistent support. Download our Celebration Notes for ready-to-use templates!
  17. Observation Coupons: Create coupons for class coverage by administrators, giving new teachers time to observe their fellow colleagues or meet with their mentor. This encourages professional growth, goal setting, and learning from peers.

  18. Duty Coverage: Take over their recess or lunch duty once a month so they can catch up on planning or other tasks. Giving them 10 minutes of time back shows your support for their workload balance.

  19. Monthly Check-ins: Schedule monthly check-ins to discuss various topics— from classroom management strategies to navigating parent-teacher conferences. Consistent support from school leadership helps them grow professionally. Check out our Monthly 1:1 Guide for tips and tricks!

  20. Spotlight in Newsletters and Social Media: Invite new teachers to write a brief bio for the school newsletter and share it on social media platforms. It introduces them to the school community, celebrates their arrival, and allows families to learn about them!
“The first week of school can be really overwhelming, especially in your first year. I remember constantly feeling like I was a step behind, but seeing all my coworkers cheering and celebrating with me (while covering me in silly string) helped me recognize I wasn't alone. It kicked off the weekend on a high note!” - Katie Dill, 3rd Grade Teacher at Action Elementary

Try implementing a few of these ideas this upcoming school year! Show your new teachers that they belong and are a vital part of the team and school community. Celebrate them joining the team and ensure they feel welcomed and supported from day one!

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